A life full of color


Some lifetimes ago, a sixteen year old version of me failed to get the place in art school that she’d pinned all her early hopes to.

Dismissed by the grown ups who’d repeatedly explained: ‘being an artist isn’t realistic’ led to years floating adrift from my calling.

(They were wrong. And this isn’t what I do, I’ve come to realise, it’s what I am)

A few years ago, rattled by some mid-life reminders of mortality, I finally fulfilled my life long ambition. But being an art student was as far as I’d thought this plan through. After spinning around in a self made feedback loop of regret for two decades, while I loved my time at college, I’d completely lost sight of the purpose.

My confusion was confounded when my course was cancelled after the foundation year. Before I’d time to consider my options my personal life fell apart, as a few weeks later my mum died.

Now I was free falling and had to find something to grasp onto, something simple I could rely on to slow the descent.  

I needed a project to latch my focus to. I needed a subject I could immerse myself in. It had to be something creative, it had to be something colourful.

It just had to be color.

 

 

I hadn’t the bandwidth for anything more complex. I needed colors, but one at a time. No other rules. Just me, a book, and whatever paints and pens and things I had to hand. In just one color. I began with the color I felt most drawn to at the time, which was red-violet, magenta. It was soothing. It was all I had space for.

I took that year, one color at a time, one month at a time.

 

 

After another family bereavement a couple of months into my year long color project, I knew I needed some accountability, some way to keep this project afloat. That’s when I started this blog.

By the end of the year I’d created a this whole book full of color.

 

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It’s still with me in my studio as a resource for inspiration – (that’s something I didn’t foresee when I began this project.)

(You can see it page by page here)

12 in 12 from mixy gecko on Vimeo.

 

 

As I showed my book of 12 colors to more of my artist friends, the idea of revisiting a year full of color began to develop. And they wanted in on it too.

So in 2017 I invented TWELVTY,  a way of sharing the adventure around the color wheel with other creatives as an online program.

It’s been an astonishing journey, (which isn’t over yet) and I’ve learned so much (more on that in another post).

I didn’t expect to run Twelvty as a program with others again after this year – it’s been all consuming and I had other plans for 2018 – but Twelvty has plans for me too, it would appear. 

So here we are, in preparation for:

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We begin the journey in the new year, but registration is open from November.

I think it speaks for itself that some of this year’s Twelveteers have already joined up for a second trip around the color wheel in 2018!

There are a limited number of discounted places available to folks on my mailing list. If you aren’t signed up already – what the hey?!! – scoot down to the end of this post to add your email before they’re all swooped up!

Flashback: Color, Color, Color!


IMG_9429Last year I had the great pleasure of producing an online class for 21 Secrets all about color. (If you know my art – you’ll know this is my thing!)

In the class I teach you how to make a really fun variation on a color wheel, using collage and mixed media painting techniques, to inspire new ways of combining colors in your mixed media art. This would be fab as a school holiday project for creative little ones!

And another 23 teachers (yes – this time there are more than the usual 21) share how they use color in their art.

This week there’s a Flashback Sale!

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From 1am PST on Monday July 3rd
(CLICK HERE for time zone conversion)
to 11:59pm PST on Wednesday, July 5th 

You can grab Color, Color, Color! For just $77
(a discount of $21).

Click Here & Enter Coupon Code: FLASHBACK

 

(By purchasing through the links in this post, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)  

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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This week marks 5 whole years since I first posted here, since Ephemeral Gecko was born.

For reals? Yup.

This blog is the ongoing project of documenting those in between stages of my art – the ephemeral places – that places buried beneath layers of paint or existing just briefly before being deconstructed and reconstructed. Why gecko? idk…Just because. 

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Marlene Glickman

So here’s a thing:

When I looked back I found my very first post here was about a textile artist – who I recently connected up with on social mediaMarlene Glickman. 

I love when life circles back on itself like this.

I first saw Marlene’s work when I was researching artists at college. I fell in love with her colors. There was a quote from her that really struck me:

“Making color and design decisions is sometimes difficult so I challenge myself to use only one color from the color wheel each month during my daily design exercises.”

I was so taken by this idea, I set upon a year long project of playing in just one color each month.

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12 colors in 2012

At the time I began this blog I was just 1/2 way through my third month, and that’s what my first post was about.

And now, here I am 5 years later — a whole lot of adventures and changes and challenges and life later — here I am: 1/2 way through the third month of the same project again.

This time it’s bigger, I’ve called it TWELVTY and I’ve got others journeying along on this adventure with me, but I’m in a parallel place again. Life moves in spirals.

 


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thinkings and doings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives. I will bring it tea if it wakes up.

contrast


Sometimes I take sideways look.

A change of perspective is refreshing and replenishing.

I’ve always surrounded myself in color, it lights me up and brings with it so many of my ideas.

And I love contrast.

I’m someone who thrives on change and novelty. I bounce along with the momentum. So alongside all the bright clashing colors I wrap every day in, I get a big zing from zebra stripes, dalmatian dots, and nothingy neutrals too.

So here I am.

After 3 months of prepping and planning and immersing myself in TWELVTY the year full of color, followed by a frantic fantastic cram-it-all-in-three-day-trip to the color-drenched delight that is Barcelona (more on that in a future post) my eyes and mind were full to bursting of full color.

I had to restore some balance before I could move forward.

Which is why, earlier this week, when I was up to my elbows in deadlines and adulting duties I had to spend time making this.

For so many reasons.

So, so many.

A slow learned life lesson for me has been fully grasping the importance of taking a few hours out of a really full day – counter-intuitive as it may seem – as this time will more than repay itself. Always.

It replaces the hours otherwise spent spinning aimlessly between tasks in the appearance of being really busy but not achieving anything. Apart from more confusion.

Cos while I work like that I only get bits of jobs dome, I don’t remember where I left off and have to do them again anyways. And it’s exhausting.

Y’know the old saying:
Too busy to find 10 minutes a day for mediation? Then you need to meditate an hour a day.
It’s how it works. 

So I made this.

The book I used is the art journal I’m working in throughout TWELVTY. Each month this year, which is dedicated to its own color, has a few pages for single colored doodles.  At the end of the year it will be a rainbow of mixed media, not unlike this.

I used a page toward the end, so in a few months time when its time arrives I’ll add some color to it. (Some time in the autumn, which will be in the Orangey-Red season – watch this space!)

Want to see this all coming into life? Here it is…

What’s your best way to keep swimming through the chaos every day life keeps throwing at you?

Have you got a creative practice that’s a sanctuary for your soul? I’d love to know.  


Would you like to get sporadic updates on my thoughts and drawings delivered right to your inbox? Hop onto my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives. I will bring it fresh socks every three weeks, or as required.

because


because a squillion things need doing.

because my eyes have soaked in so much color lately.

because time-lapse is the most fun thing in world.

 

today I made this:

Prize Draw :)


Today is the last day of the TWELVTY Prize Draw!

 

Just sign up to my email list here and reply to the welcome email with the subject line “I’m In!” to enter and win A FREE year of TWELVTY! All that colourful loveliness! All for you!

Winners will be notified tomorrow: Saturday 25th Feb. Good luck!

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

The doors close to new members of the TWELVTY tribe at the end of Feb, so if you get lit up by color and think this is something you’d like to be a part of you have until 28 Feb to jump aboard. I don’t know if I’ll run this program again – next year I have other adventures lined up – this could be now or never!

TWELVTY Prize Draw


This week I’m giving away TWO FREE places in TWELVTY.

TWELVTY is an adventure in color that runs all through 2017 where we explore the 12 colors of the color wheel one month at a time. 

In TWELVTY you get access to a wealth of delicious color resources, exclusive videos of my creative process every week, and can join a wonderful online community of creatives. And much, muchier more! (More details here)

Want in? just sign up to my email list here and reply to the welcome email with the subject line “I’m In!” to enter

Winners will be notified on Saturday 25th Feb. Good luck!

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

The doors close to new members of the TWELVTY tribe at the end of Feb, so if you get lit up by color and think this is something you’d like to be a part of you have until 28 Feb to jump aboard. I don’t know if I’ll run this program again – next year I have other adventures lined up – this could be now or never!

(here’s the project that planted the seed in my imagination to create TWELVTY)

Want to know more? Ask me in the comments below 🙂

Happy Birthday!


(But more on that in a moment… first let me set the scene…)

I was telling you about how TWELVTY has begun to take on a life of its own. It’s just a few weeks into its year long life and it’s not going the way I imagined…

Instead of being the set of 12 individual colored months, like I first planned, TWELVTY is turning into a story made of 12 chapters. They are woven together and already I can see that taken separately they lose the essential essence of the story. The full year of color has a life the months alone can’t provide. 

To begin I wanted to make this program available to join throughout the year, but what I didn’t know then was how all-encompassing it was to become! It’s grown beyond my imaginings, and to be honest if someone was to join later in the year I don’t think they’d get the full magic of being a part of TWELVTY just by accessing the material retrospectively.

So I’ve decided to close the doors on TWELVTY at the end of this month.
No more new recruits after the end of February. 
 

But wait up! that’s not all….
Before the doors close, as today is my birthday ………

I’m going to gift 2 FREE PLACES in TWELVTY 2017 in a Prize Draw.

The prize draw runs from Friday 17th Feb for ONE WEEK.
Winners will be notified Saturday 25th February.

 

Are you someone who gets all lit up about color?
Would you love to join a tribe of creatives who are just like us?

If so, just jump on my mailing list here and
reply to the welcome email with the title “I’M IN!”
to add your name to the hat for the prize draw.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join my list)

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Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

I don’t know if I’ll be offering this program again. Next year has different adventures in store for me, so this could be ‘now or never’, folks! 

A life of its own…


colorwheelspiralY’now I’ve been immersed in color for the last few months.  Not my usual multi-colored chaos (although there’s no escaping that) – but a very specific niche of color – as I explore and examine the color wheel.

It’s a project I played with a few years ago keeps returning to in one way or another.
It keeps coming back.
It’s a compulsion.

But this time is a little different: this time I’m joined by other artists and creatives, and we’re on this adventure together. And I’m totally loving it!

 

We began the year in shades of sunshine & lemon with YELLOW, and now in the second month we’ve stepped round to the luscious lime and sumptuous olive tones that fall into YELLOW-GREEN. Next month we explore GREEN… so on, cycling around the color wheel, a month at a time.

 

 

The thing is, since I decided to share this color journey, it’s taken on a momentum and is developing a character of its own. (As big projects so often do).

 

As I plan forward into the upcoming months of colors I see this adventure develop into one big ongoing story, rather than the 12 little self-contained, single-color tales I first envisaged. I anticipated TWELVTY being the kind of course folks to hop on board any time through the year, with instant access to all the material to date.

…..But 6 or so weeks in, TWELVTY has become something much bigger than I realised it would be, and that simply isn’t the way it’s decided to grow.

So I’ve made a decision. 

Which I’ll tell you about on Friday.(Because Friday is special

Want to find out more about what’s in TWELVTY – it’s all  over here . I also did a big ole Q&A post over here. Or ask me in the comments – I’m massively excited about this – ask me anything! (anything about TWELVTY…I don’t have answers to much else!)

 


Hop on my mailing list here to get irregular updates on my colorful makings & doings direct to your inbox.

(and as a welcome, you get this little ebook all about color when you join)

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YELLOW MONDAY


Does this talk of ‘Blue Monday’ get you down? Who needs the media reminding them to feel any less bouyant and joyful than they already do?

I need to counteract this craziness, and my way (as in all things) is to use color!

Monday 16th January 2017 is now YELLOW MONDAY.

Yellow is the color of sunshine, the color of hope and happiness, and the color of January in my year full of color program, TWELVTY.

To back that up there’s a 24 hour offer for new TWELVTY folks: from 9am GMT Monday 16th January for just 24 hours you can get 12 months of color for the price of 10.

Join us HERE

And if TWELVTY isn’t for you, know that you can make your day whatever color you want it to be. Have a great week my friends – don’t let the media tell you how to feel!

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I made this little ebook all about color if you’d like to get an taste of TWELVTY.
It’s all yours when you hop on my newsletter list here.

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(Your email is absolutely safe with me, I’ll just pop by and check up on it time to time, feed it treats, plump up its cushions, that sort of thing.)

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